When you think of IT, you generally think of geekiness. For those of us in the industry, it can become quite the annoyance because all our friends and family think we can do pretty much anything IT related.
The list includes:
- Fix their computer
- Create a website for them
- Show them how their smartphone works
- Program their new TV
And of course if you can’t, you get the sarcastic comment “Well, so much for you being an IT guru!”
But IT is a huge industry, and there are many roles out there which don’t really require much, if any, technical know-how. You might want to consider one of these if you feel that you are trying to force yourself down the technical route when your heart isn’t really in it or if you’d just like to get away from the geekiness of it all.
Here are a few roles for you to consider.
PM is one of the most challenging and rewarding careers available and can take you around the world if you wish. Every project needs to be managed, and the bigger the project, the more levels of PM are required.
I seriously considered training to become a PM after passing some technical exams, but I ended up teaching.
If you’d like to add PM to your skill set, then look at CompTIA Project+, PRINCE2, and PMP. Many countries have their own recognized certificates, and there are plenty of bachelor’s and master’s degrees in PM.
Without sales, there would be no income in the IT industry. Cisco systems have their own certification process for sales professionals, and I was heavily involved in the sales process when I ran my own IT company.
Sales doesn’t have to be a pushy process or involve any cold calling. It’s usually a matter of looking at the customers’ specific requirements and then matching these to the correct IT solutions.
As you can imagine, you have to know about the products as far as what they can and can’t do, but the vendor will always be there to advise you on the specifics. As to installation, that is left to the technical team as well as support.
IT, as an infrastructure, involves many roles, requirements, and procedures, and all of these need to be systematized and somehow managed. For example, who approves changes to the network, who creates the plan, what happens if a change fails? If there is an outage, what was the cause and how can we prevent this happening again?
The industry leading service management is ITIL. According to Wikipedia, “ITIL describes processes, procedures, tasks and checklists that are not organization-specific, used by an organization for establishing integration with the organization's strategy, delivering value and maintaining a minimum level of competency. It allows the organization to establish a baseline from which it can plan, implement and measure. It is used to demonstrate compliance and to measure improvement.”
ITIL has a highly developed training and certification process, and most large companies use ITIL’s systems and procedures to manage their IT processes.
People need to be managed. Roles range from team leader, group leader, department manager, service delivery manager, customer relationship manager, and so on. The roles are almost endless, in fact.
Some of these roles require technical knowledge, but most do not. I’ve generally found that the more technical a person is, the less they are able to manage a team. This isn’t always the case, so don’t get angry at me.
This is often borderline technical, but design teams are there to follow established principles and produce the design documentation, which is then handed to the technical implementation team to build.
This means that you need an understanding of the technology but not the configuration commands because you aren’t programming the equipment that is installed. A firewall blocking X,Y, and Z could come from any number of vendors.
Look at Cisco CCDA as an example of a design role.
As you know, security is of huge importance to any organization. Part of the security will be technical, but the other half is all about managing the processes and procedures. An example of a certification dealing with this is the Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC). The ISACA website (http://www.isaca.org/) explains CRISC like this:
“The CRISC certification is for IT and business professionals—including risk and compliance professionals, business analysts and project managers—who identify and manage risks through the development, implementation and maintenance of appropriate information systems (IS) controls.”
This has been a general overview, but I just wanted you to consider some of the non-technical IT roles available to you if you don’t want to commit to the technical route.
If I missed any out then post a comment below.